The Mellon Grant in Arts & Humanities Summer Research Institute
About the Grant
Lincoln University's strategic plan emphasizes a renewed focus on liberal arts and the development of strategic partnerships. Thanks to a proposal submitted by President Brenda A. Allen, Lincoln University was awarded a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Humanities faculty may apply each grant year. The grant years are 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022. Awarded grant funds are for research and academic writing for scholarly publications. Awarded faculty will employ an undergraduate research assistant to engage in researching and professional development. Please see below for grant overview, guidelines, and proposal application and submission process.
President Brenda A. Allen
Principal Investigator (PI)
Dr. Mahpiua Deas
Assistant Principal Investigator
Mr. Fred-Rick L. Roundtree
Assistant Principal Investigator
Ms. Diane Brown
Grant Budget Manager
Ms. Brenda Snider
Overview and Grant Description
The Mellon grant application is available for all tenure-line and tenured faculty. New tenure-line faculty are especially encouraged to apply.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Lincoln University a $500,000 grant to invest in its teaching pedagogy and humanities programs thanks to a proposal submitted by President Brenda A. Allen. The Mellon award is a three-year investment from the Mellon Foundation.
The grant comes off the heels of the University’s new Strategic Plan. The plan calls for a renewed focus on liberal arts and the development of strategic partnerships. The purpose of the grant is to invest in the scholarly development of the arts and humanities faculty. Funds from the grant will allow Lincoln to offer summer faculty institutes where faculty members can dedicate an entire summer to research and academic writing for scholarly publications. Those participating will also have the option of hiring an undergraduate research assistant.
In addition to the summer faculty institutes, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning will offer two pedagogy workshops during the first two years of the grant. Resources from the grant will also be used for curriculum development. Curriculum workshops will be offered to each of the University’s full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members. During the workshops, faculty will review and revise all courses in their majors.
President Allen envisions that these new opportunities will lead to revised majors, an increase in students majoring in the arts and humanities, more active learning approaches, an increase in publications, and an increase in students pursuing graduate studies in the humanities.
Humanities faculty are encouraged to participate in a Mellon Grant information session on Thursday, March 4, 2021, at Noon or Friday, March 5, 2021, at Noon.
- Principal Investigator (PI): President Brenda A. Allen
- Assistant Principal Investigator: Dr. Mahpiua Deas
- Assistant Principal Investigator: Mr. Fred-Rick L. Roundtree
- Grant Budget Manager: Ms. Diane Brown
- Three years (2019-2022)
Faculty Participants per Year
Grant Award Amount for each Faculty Participant
- $7,500.00 for conducting research
- $1,000.00 for travel
- $3,500 for each student research assistant
Mellon Grant 2021-2022 Selection Committee
- Dr. Mahpiua Deas
- Mr. Fred-Rick L. Roundtree
- Dr. Patricia A. Joseph
- Dr. Karen Baskerville
- Professor Jeff Chapp
- Dr. James Gallagher
- Dr. Christine Limb
Other Grant Participants
- All faculty, especially humanities faculty, who will be invited to participate in the summer and year-round event(s)
Guidelines, Application, & Submission Form
2021 Faculty Summer Research Application Guidelines
The Mellon grant application is available for all tenure-line and tenured faculty. New tenure-line faculty are especially encouraged to apply.
2021 Faculty Summer Research Vetting Rubric Please complete the Proposal Submission Form and attach your curriculum vitae and proposal to the form.
The Mellon Grant in the Arts & Humanities 2021 Faculty Summer Research Application Guidelines
The Mellon Grant in the Arts & Humanities grant proposals will be processed, thoroughly vetted, and voted on by the Lincoln University's Mellon Grant in Arts & Humanities Summer Selection Committee. All grant proposals must meet the basic requirements of the guidelines including cover page and grant proposal to be considered.
Please use the Lincoln University’s Mellon Grant in Arts & Humanities Vetting Rubric as your guide as you prepare your proposal.
Extended Due Date: Friday, April 23, 2021, by 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021, by 5 p.m. Please apply via Lincoln University's Mellon Grant Proposal Submission Form.
The following are eligible to apply for the Mellon Grant in the Arts & Humanities Faculty Summer Research:
1. Full-time tenured or tenure track faculty members with primary or secondary appointments in the departments of Language and Literature, History, Pan-Africana Studies, Philosophy, Religion, Languages and Literature, Mass Communications, and Visual and Performing Arts.
2. Full-time faculty members who are not on sabbatical leave for the 2021-22 school year.
3. The Mellon Grant in Arts & Humanities Faculty Summer Research committee members may apply for the grant, but are not allowed to vet or vote on their own grant application, grant project proposal, and other supporting documents.
Please note that Mellon Grant in Arts & Humanities Faculty Summer Research may be awarded to faculty more than once, but priority will be given to new awardees.
Extended Due Date: Friday, April 23, 2021, by 5:00 p.m.
The deadline for the 2021-22 full application is Wednesday, March 31, 2021, by 5 p.m. EST. Late applications will not be accepted. Please apply via Lincoln University's Mellon Grant Proposal Submission Form.
Application Requirements and Proposal Format
In preparation for completing the Lincoln University's Mellon Grant Proposal Submission Form, you will need to have the following:
A. Cover Page (Title of project, your name, your title, department, rank, and contact information (office address, email, office phone, and cell phone).
B. Research Statement: a project abstract (including title) of no more than 250 words
C. Project Proposal including (minimum of 3 pages, single-spaced and no more than 6 pages single-spaced) including:
- Introduction (statement of problem, purpose of research, significance of research)
- Scope, methods, goals, and written scholarly product (i.e. journal article or book chapter) or exhibit
- Description of the pedagogical goals and impact including development of standalone course in the humanities
- Description of how the project fulfills the mission and vision of the university
- Description of how you will select, supervise, and communicate with the student research assistant and what tasks the student research assistant will be responsible for completing. Description of travel, the purpose of the travel, and how the travel will help you fulfill your research goals. Please note that all travelers will need to follow all university regulations for travel including submitting a TAR and receiving approval in advance of travel. Upon return, travelers will be expected to provide documentation for all of their expenses with receipts that must be submitted to receive reimbursement.
D. Detailed Work Plan (Summer 2021-Spring 2022): timeline and budget (the timeline should be broken down by month and the work plan should include interim and final research, writing or exhibition goals, and stand-alone course development, and what tasks the student research assistant will be responsible for, and distribution/exhibition plan).
E. Summative Assessment: Please detail the product (journal article, book chapter, or exhibit) that you will have produced by the end of the summer (you will be asked to submit this product as part of your midterm report), how and where you will distribute your work for publication or exhibit your work, and how you will assess your summer research and product, and what your next steps will be for creating a stand-alone course based on your research.
F. This grant requires a full-time commitment. Please identify any other grant applications you have submitted or received for summer 2021 including granting organization, amount, and project focus.
G. Indicate any summer plans that would interfere with your participation in the opening symposium to be held June 8, 9,10, 2021. The symposium will be 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. each day.
1. Font: must be easily legible (Helvetica, Arial, Garamond, Times New Roman, etc.) at a size of 12 pt. or larger
2. Margins: at least 0.5″ each side
3. Spacing - single
4. Length: total combined page length should not exceed 6 pages, single-spaced.
Late applications will not be accepted. Applications will be reviewed based on the Lincoln University Mellon Arts & Humanities Vetting Rubric.
Each faculty member will receive a $7,500 stipend to complete their research over the course of the summer and a $1,000 travel award. The research assistant selected by the faculty member to work on the faculty member’s project will receive $3,500.
The award period for full-time research and writing begins June 1, 2021, and continues through August 1, 2022.
Awardees must participate in the opening research symposium and the fall 2021/spring 2022 curriculum and pedagogy workshops.
Awardees must produce a scholarly written product or exhibit and distribute it for publication or exhibition.
Awardees must adhere to the award budget.
Awardees must submit an interim report by August 28, 2021 and a final report by May 9, 2022.
Mellon Grant in the Arts & Humanities Summer Faculty Research awardees are required to submit both an interim (due August 28, 2021) and a final report (due May 9, 2022) to the Arts & Humanities Summer Faculty Research Co-PIs, Mr. Fred-Rick Roundtree and Dr. Pia Deas (due May 9, 2022) in a PDF file submitted via the final report form.
A detailed summary of all relevant activities performed during the period of the award
A review of goals and objectives attained, including qualitative and quantitative data
A summary of the project’s impact on teaching pedagogy and the humanities at Lincoln University
A review of the project’s personal impact on the awardees’ current scholarship in teaching, learning, and the humanities
A final budget report detailing all expenditures and indicating any unspent balances
Final reports and related documentary materials of awarded Mellon Grant in Arts
Humanities Summer Faculty Research will be added to Lincoln University’s Scholarly Repository.
Deadline for applications: Wednesday, March 31, 2021, by 5 p.m. -- Extended Due Date: Friday, April 23, 2021, by 5:00 p.m.
Announcement of award recipients: May 14, 2021
Opening Symposium: The opening symposium will be held June 8, 9,10, 2021. The symposium will be 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. each day.
All selected applicants are expected to participate in a minimum of two of the Pedagogy and Curriculum workshops in the fall of 2021 and spring of 2022. Dates TBA.
Source: Adapted from an aspirant Mellon Foundation Institute of Higher Learning, the University of Miami https://www.library.miami.edu/create/application.html
2021 Summer Research Institute Awardees
2021 Summer Research Institute Awardees Awardee Proposal Undergraduate Research Assistant Brandi Berry "My Lisette" Giovanni Casson Carmen Brookins House “The Lions Voices Project @ Lincoln University – P A (LVP@LUPA)” Hajah Bah Denise Brown “Arts and Advocacy Blended Black Mental Health Course Development” Tonice Arnold Marilyn Button Bria Wadley Jean Bernard Cerin Drucilla Lindsay Mahpiua Deas Solomon Murphy Nicole Files-Thompson Inya Wyche Nora Gardner Kayla Jackson Christina Kerns Deborah Neal Christine Limb Lauren Wilkerson Nafeesa Muhammad Etana Laing Gordan Stillman Shamica Terry
2021 Summer Research Institute Scholars & Opening Symposium
2021 Summer Research Institute Scholars
Dr. Gershun Avilez is a Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is a cultural studies scholar who specializes in contemporary African American and Black Diasporic literatures and visual cultures. Much of his scholarship explores how questions of gender and sexuality inform artistic production. He has published two books: Radical Aesthetics and Modern Black Nationalism (2016) and Black Queer Freedom (2020). He has written essays on a range of historical and cultural subjects, including the Cold War, segregation narratives, early African American writing, race & terror, social death, queer life, experimental poetry, Black women’s writing, the Harlem Renaissance, Black Power gender politics, and the Black Arts Movement.
He received his PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania, where he also earned a Graduate Certificate in Africana Studies. He has held professorships at Yale University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He also held the Frederick Douglass Post-doctoral Fellowship at the University of Rochester.
Ms. Sumi Tonooka (pronounced To-NO-ka) has been called a “fierce and fascinating composer and pianist” (Jazz Times), “provocative and compelling” (New York Times), and “continually inventive, original, surprising, and a total delight,” (Cuadranos de Jazz, Madrid). During a career spanning more than 35 years that has taken her from home bases in Philadelphia & Boston, to New York & Seattle, Tonooka has been developing a body of work that surprises and delights audiences worldwide-quietly piling up accolades from jazz writers, fellow musicians, and fans.
Currently, Tonooka is a recipient composer of the Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works Grant in 2019. The new work is scheduled to be premiered in the Fall of 2021. In February 2016, NorthWest Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Anthony Spain, premiered, For Malala, Tonooka’s most recent work for Orchestra and jazz trio, featuring Tonooka on piano. In November 2015, Tonooka received the honor to serve as composer in residence with the South Dakota Symphony. The award was through Music Alive, New Music USA. In 2013, the American Composers Orchestra and The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University, presented Tonooka’s first work for symphony orchestra, Full Circle, as part of the second Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute (JCOI) Readings in NYC.
Dr. Corey D. B. Walker is a distinguished scholar and public intellectual. He is the Wake Forest Professor of the Humanities in the department of English and the Interdisciplinary Humanities Program and inaugural director of the Program in African American Studies at Wake Forest University. He returns to Winston-Salem, NC, where he previously served as Dean of the College and John W. and Anna Hodgin Hanes Professor of the Humanities at Winston-Salem State University. His research and teaching interests span the areas of Africana philosophy, critical theory, ethics, religion and American public life, and social and political philosophy.
Dr. Walker is the author and editor of four books including the well-received A Noble Fight: African American Freemasonry and the Struggle for Democracy in America. He has published over sixty articles, essays, and book chapters in a wide variety of scholarly journals and publications including the New York Times bestseller Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain.
Dr. Ersula J. Ore is an Associate Professor of African and African American Studies at State University and Lincoln Professor of Ethics in The School of Social Transformation. Her research interrogates how the relationship between antiblack violence and discourses of American citizenship and belonging. Her book, Lynching: Violence, Rhetoric, & American Identity (University Press of Mississippi, 2019), which examines lynching as a rhetorical strategy and material practice interwoven with the formation of America’s national identity, received the 2020 Book Award from the Rhetoric Society America.
Dr. Ore’s more recent work includes a multi-journaled co-edited special issue called “Diversity is not Justice,” which explores equity discourse and institutionalized performative allyship in higher education, and two monographs, respectively titled Civility While Black & Female and The Case of Sandra Bland. Research for these two book projects engages Black feminist literary and cultural theorists and Black feminist historians in criminology and carcerality, women and girlhood studies, philosophy, and communication to interrogate the dialogics of gendered antiblack policing and how charges of incivility are used to legitimate lethal force.
Dr. Ruha Benjamin is Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University. Ruha Benjamin specializes in the interdisciplinary study of science, medicine, and technology; race-ethnicity and gender; knowledge and power. She is author of People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier (Stanford University Press 2013), Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (Polity 2019), and editor of Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life (Duke University Press 2019), as well as numerous articles and book chapters.
Professor Benjamin received her BA in sociology and anthropology from Spelman College, MA and PhD in sociology from UC Berkeley, and completed postdoctoral fellowships at UCLA’s Institute for Society and Genetics and Harvard University’s Science, Technology, and Society Program. She has been awarded fellowships and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and Institute for Advanced Study. In 2017, she received the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton.
2020 Summer Research Institute Awardees
2020 Summer Research Institute Awardees Awardee Proposal Undergraduate Research Assistant David Amadio "Lace the Track: Hip-Hop's Sneaker Anthems and the Poetry of Product" Earnest Smith Carmen Brookins House "Being Heard: Advancing Speaking Skills and Opportunities for Students at Lincoln University" Andrea McDaniels William Donohue "Language, Identity, and Anti-Racism: Students' Perspectives" Solomon Murphy Samaa Gamie "Feminism, Womanhood, and Revolution in the Literature of Arab Women Writers" Aneesa Abdul-Rahim Nafeesa Muhammad "Forging Heaven: The Nation of Islam's Relationship with Africa in the Sustenance of its Economic Program, 1950-1975" Etana Laing Charles Pettaway "Teaching Piano - A Twenty-first Century Approach" David Jackson D. Zizwe Poe "Lincoln University's Afrocentric/Pan-Africana Curricular Development (2): From Civil Rights to Black Power 1960s-1970s" Gloryjah Robinson
2020 Summer Research Institute Scholars
2020 Summer Institute Research Scholars
Tracie D. Hall was appointed the American Library Association’s tenth executive director in its 143-year history in February 2020. Hall oversees the oldest and largest library association in the world, made up of fifty-seven thousand members and more than two hundred staffers. Hall is the first female African American executive director in ALA’s history. Hall is no stranger to libraries, or to ALA. Over the years she has worked at the Seattle Public Library, the New Haven Free Public Library, the Queens Public Library, and the Hartford Public Library. In 1998, she was among the first cohort of ALA’s Spectrum Scholars, a grant program to diversify librarianship, and she was highlighted as a “Mover and Shaker” in the field by Library Journal early in her career. She served as the director of ALA’s Office for Diversity in the early 2000s and has served on advisory councils for the Institute of Museum and Library Services and written for the field’s major publications.
Rashad Shabazz is an associate professor and faculty lead of Justice and Social Inquiry in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. His academic expertise brings together human geography, cultural studies, gender studies, and critical race studies. His research explores how race, cultural production, and gender are informed by geography. Shabazz’s 2015 book, Spatializing Blackness, (University of Illinois Press) examines how carceral power within the geographies of Black Chicagoans shaped urban planning, housing policy, policing practices, gang formation, high incarceration rates, masculinity, and health. His scholarship has appeared in Souls, The Spatial-Justice Journal, ACME, Gender, Place and Culture and Occasions. He has, also, published several book chapters and book reviews. Most recently, he wrote the “City” chapter for the Keywords in African American Studies anthology (New York University Press, 2018). He is currently working on a book and virtual reality project that explore the social and sonic geography of the Minneapolis Sound.
Keisha N. Blain is an award-winning historian and writer. She is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh and a 2019-2020 W.E.B. Du Bois Fellow at Harvard University. She currently serves as president of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS). Blain completed a Ph.D. in History from Princeton University. Her research interests include Black internationalism, radical politics, and global feminisms. She is the author of Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), which won the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize and the Darlene Clark Hine Award from the Organization of American Historians. The book was also a finalist for the Hooks National Book Award and selected as one of the best books of 2018 by several outlets, including Smithsonian Magazine. Blain is the co-editor of To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism (University of Illinois Press, 2019); New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition (Northwestern University Press, 2018); and Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence (University of Georgia Press, 2016). She is now working on a new book project, tentatively entitled East Unites with West: Black Women, Japan, and Visions of Afro-Asian Solidarity (under contract, University of Pennsylvania Press).
Shane Graham is a professor of English at Utah State University who lives in Salt Lake City. He was raised in Nashville, went to college at Northwestern University near Chicago, obtained his PhD from Indiana University, and has lived in Huntsville and Houston, Texas; Logan, Utah; and Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. Graham’s book, Cultural Entanglements: Langston Hughes and the Rise of African and Caribbean Literature, will be published by the University of Virginia Press in May 2020. The book maps Langston Hughes’s legacy as a global writer and a central figure in the emergence of Caribbean literature as early as the 1920s and in the African literary “boom” of the mid-twentieth century. Graham’s research toward the new book was supported with a Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, and a Knopf Fellowship from the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas. Previously, he was a Mellon Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
Sasha Phyars-Burgess was born in Brooklyn, New York to Trinidadian parents, and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Bard college in 2010 with a BA in Photography where she studied with An-My Le, Tim Davis, Barbara Ess, Michael Vahrenwald, and Larry Fink. Upon graduation, she worked for Larry Fink for one year before moving to Berlin, Germany and Trinidad and Tobago. She is interested in the African diaspora, particularly the Caribbean and Latin America. She is also interested in learning about Pennsylvania, where her parents currently reside. She believes in the importance of photography education as community empowerment. Sasha was artist-in-residence at the Center for Photography at Woodstock in 2015.
2020 Mellon Summer Research Institute Opening Symposium Program & Recordings
Due to COVID-19, the opening symposium will now be presented online via Zoom on May 26, June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 2020 from 10:30 a.m. until Noon each day (the original symposium was revised: May 19, 20, and 21, 2020. The symposium will be held 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.)
Mellon Summer 2020 Research Opening Symposium Program
Symposium Records (coming soon)
June 2, 2020
June 9, 2020
June 16, 2020
June 23, 2020
June 30, 2020
2019 Summer Research Institute Awardees
2019 Summer Research Institute Awardees Awardee Proposal Undergraduate Research Assistant Sema Hande Ogutcu-Fu "State Interveners and Durability of Peace Agreements" Dumar Burgess Christina Kerns "Lenticular Artistic Project" Kyle Gordon Lukas Pelliccio "Social Ostracism in the Digital Age: Understanding the Process of Cyber-Ostracism Message Interpretation" Mya Oliver Zizwe Poe "Lincoln University's Afrocentric/Pan-Africana Curricular Development: From Civil Rights to Black Power 1960s-1970s Renee Halsey Nora Gardner " "Dear Folks at Home" White Supremacy, Pan-Africanism and Border Control: Reading Langston Hughes in the 21st Century" Dejarene Harris Nicole Files-Thompson "Race, Culture, Sustainability, and New Media: Implications for Applied Digital Communications and the Informal and Sharing Tourism Economies in Jamaica" Shamya Hutchinson Gwinyai Muzorewa "Democracy: Learning, Liberating, and Leadership: A Case for Indigenous Perspective" Lawrion Anderson William Donohue "Grammar Instruction for an HBCU: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis" Jasmine Gayle Dana Flint "Democracy and Education in a Digital World" Taylor Clark Mahpiua Deas "Too Long Have Others Spoken for Us: The Roots of Black Radical Publications from Print to Podcast" Jordyn Adams-Morris
2019 Summer Research Institute Scholars & Opening Symposium
2019 Summer Research Institute Scholars
Wallace D. Best
Wallace Best is Professor of Religion and African American Studies and Faculty Affiliate of History at Princeton University. He earned a Ph.D. in United States History from Northwestern University and an MA in Church History and Theological Studies from Wheaton College (Illinois). The focus of his research and teaching merge at the intersections of American religion, African American religious history, urban religion, cultural studies, and gender and sexuality studies. With attention given to the lived experiences of religion in urban contexts, he employs various historical and literary methodologies to elucidate the ways religious discourses, practices, movements, and institutions shape American society in general and African American life in particular. He is the author of Passionately Human, No Less Divine: Religion and Culture in Black Chicago, 1915-1952, which won the 2006 Illinois State Historical Society Award in the Publications category and Langston’s Salvation: American Religion and the Bard of Harlem, which was a finalist for the 2018 Albert J. Raboteau Book Award and the winner of the 2018 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion, Textual Studies, from the American Academy of Religion. He has also published in Religion and American Culture, Religion and Politics, Fides
Et Historia, U.S. Catholic Historian, Callaloo, Reuters, and the Huffington Post. He has held fellowships at the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University and the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute at Harvard University. Currently, he is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians and serves on the Standing Committee of LGBTQ.
Jonathan B. Fenderson
Jonathan Fenderson is an Assistant Professor in African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. He earned his Ph.D. in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts. His research and teaching interests emanate from three themes: intellectual history, social movements, and transnational links between Africa and the Diaspora. His writing has appeared in a number of places, including the Journal of African American History, Race & Class, and the Journal of African-American Studies. His first book, Building the Black Arts Movement: Hoyt Fuller and the Cultural Politics of the 1960s was recently released by the University of Illinois Press. He also serves as the Associate Editor of the Black Scholar.
Will Fenton is the Director of Scholarly Innovation at the Library Company of Philadelphia and Creative Director of Redrawing History: Indigenous Perspectives on Colonial America. A two-year multi-pronged project funded by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Redrawing History will commission an educational graphic novel (Ghost River: The Fall and Rise of the Conestoga, Native Realities Press, October 2019), a national teacher’s seminar co-sponsored with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (“Native Peoples, Settlers, and European Empires in North America, 1600–1840,” July 28–August 3), and a public art exhibition at the Library Company (Redrawing History, November 11-April 10). Will earned his Ph.D. at Fordham University, where he specialized in early American literature and the digital humanities. He is the recipient of prestigious fellowships from the American Philosophical Society; Haverford College Quaker and Special Collections; the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory; the Library Company of Philadelphia; the Modern Language Association; the New York Public Library; and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture.
Kellie Carter Jackson is a 19th-century historian in the Department of Africana Studies at Wellesley College. She earned her B.A. from Howard University and her Ph.D. from Columbia University. Her book, Force & Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence (University of Pennsylvania Press) provides the first historical analysis exclusively focused on the tactical use of violence among antebellum black activists. Carter Jackson is also co-editor of Reconsidering Roots: Race, Politics, & Memory (Athens: University of Georgia Press). Carter Jackson and Erica Ball have also edited a Special Issue on the 40th Anniversary of Roots for Transition Magazine (Issue 122}. Together, Ball and Carter Jackson have curated the largest collection of essays dedicated to the history and impact of Alex Haley’s Roots. Carter Jackson was also featured in the History Channel's documentary, Roots: A History Revealed which was nominated for a NAACP Image Award in 2016. Follow her on twitter @kcarterjackson.
Born in the province of Pinar del Río, Cuba, Steinway Artist pianist and composer Elio Villafranca is a two-time Grammy nominee, winner of the 2018 Downbeat Critic’s Poll Rising Stars in the Keyboard Category, a 2017 recipient of the The Sunshine Award (founded in 1989 to recognize excellence in the performing arts, education, science, and sports of the various Caribbean countries, South America, Central America, and Africa), and a recipient in 2014 of the first Jalc Millennium Swing Award! Elio Villafranca was classically trained in piano, percussion, and composition at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba, and since his arrival in the U.S. in mid-1995, he is at the forefront of the latest generation of remarkable pianists, composers, and bandleaders. Because of his birthplace and his musical training, Villafranca’s performances explore jazz, classical, and music from the African Diaspora. In December of 2018, Elio Villafranca was guest pianist and composer with the Miami Symphony Orchestra, conducted by maestro Eduardo Marturete. His double album CINQUE, released with ArtistShare, received a Grammy Nomination this year at the 61st Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. His previous recording, Caribbean Tinge, released in 2014 by Motema Records, received that year a Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik Nomination by the German Records Critics Award, and was selected by JazzTimes and DownBeat magazines for a feature on their very competitive section, Editor’s Pick. In 2014 Villafranca was also among the five pianists hand-picked by pianist Chick Corea to perform at the first Chick Corea Jazz Festival, curated by Corea himself at Jazz at Lincoln Center, NYC. In 2009, Elio received his first Grammy Nomination at the 52nd Grammy Awards, also in the Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year category.
Kesha Morant Williams
Kesha Morant Williams (Ph.D.) is an Associate Professor of Communication Arts & Sciences at Penn State University, Berks. Both written and spoken there is an undeniable power attached to words. Dr. Morant Williams desires to explore this power and its impact on communication experiences. Her research interest focuses on interpersonal communication, health communication and popular media examined through a cultural lens. She is a featured scholar in the documentary Beautiful Me and was the cover story of Penn State Berks Research Magazine (Spring, 2018). Her professional interests include creating links between academic and more practical environments. Her relationship-centered teaching and research have been recognized throughout the university, in the community, and nationally. In 2018, she was awarded the Rex Crawley Service Award at the National Communication Association Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her research has been published in peer review journals including Journal of Health Communication, Journal of Medical Humanities, Journal of Black Studies, Howard Journal of Communications, Journal of Media and Religion, Journal of Communication & Religion, Sexuality and Culture, Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric and the books Inter/Cultural Communication: Representation and construction of culture in everyday interaction and Race, Gender & Identity.